Seven more flu-related deaths reported since last week

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It looks like the beginning of the end for flu season in London this year, according to the Middlesex-London Health Unit.

- Seven people died from the flu between March 4 and March 10, bringing the total number of flu deaths in the state to 305, according to data released by health officials on Thursday.

The prior week there were 18 deaths, while there's been a steady decline in weekly deaths since 46 were recorded three weeks ago.

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The flu is a contagious respiratory illness caused by influenza viruses.

It's flu season once again and it has been as bad as any season since the early 2000s.

The World Health Organization estimates the annual epidemic results in about 3 to 5 million cases of severe illness globally and 290,000 to 650,000 deaths. For the past several weeks, the number of new hospitalizations related to the flu has continued to drop. "I want to encourage folks to just take time to do the simple things a couple of times a day and wash your hands with warm soapy water and it will help minimize the spread of the flu".

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The flu season usually runs through May. "Flu cases are still occurring throughout the region, so people should continue getting vaccinated and taking other preventive measures". The "stomach flu" as it's commonly known, is usually viral gastroenteritis, and is unrelated to either the common cold or influenza.

Health reports state that nearly all of the patients who died from the virus were over the age of 50.

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